The dictionary defines neighbor as someone living near or standing next to another. In my book, the neighbor is any one of the people living in the four-hundred condos of the Blue Waves High Rise on the beach.
Ten years ago I moved from a house to an apartment in a multi-unit building. Downsizing and getting rid of numerous souvenirs was painful enough. Little did I know that living next to so many neighbors would involve losing part of the freedom I took for granted when I dwelt in a house.
My neighbors consist mainly of retirees who live all year round in their condos—and keep a pair of binoculars within reach to peek into their neighbors’ places, the pool area, or the beach terrace. In addition, you can count several snowbird couples who fly to Florida in winter, a few young working white collars who rent for a year or two to enjoy the proximity of the beach, and two or three families with a child. Our high rise is quite cosmopolitan, with South American, Russian, Canadian, French, Swedish, Greek condo owners,… A real Tower of Babel.
Soon enough I realized that the gorgeous and serene scenery surrounding us could hide many potential tempests. And I am not talking about hurricanes or tropical storms only. Passions can simmer and sizzle when you live too close for comfort.
The following real examples astounded me:
The woman on the fifth floor broke a stormy affair with her lover from the tenth.
The old widower on the twentieth floor married the young divorcee from the third floor, and died three months later.
The neighbor on the seventh floor got drunk and drowned in the hot spa.
A lady from the tenth floor disappeared for several days and was found floating on the shore five miles away.
As you can see, life is never boring in a high rise. Actually it is sometimes too eventful for my taste. I changed building, and discovered a new set of stories. That was when I decided I absolutely had to write a romantic suspense set in a building similar to the one where I live.
Neighbors and More is a contemporary romance novel with elements of suspense and humor.
In the Blue Waves High Rise where so many neighbors live too close for comfort, Dante, the handsome Sicilian lawyer, and Alexa, the wealthy young divorcée, try to hide their idyllic romance. When a neighbor drowns in the Jacuzzi, life will forever change in the Blue Waves.